Patrik Fitzgerald – Small Wonder Records 1978


Buy Me Sell Me / The Little Dippers

Trendy / Backstreet Boys

Back in the day when going to Rough Trade, Kensington Park Road, W11 was the equivalent of riding a donkey to Tokyo for a young Penguin, Small Wonder, Hoe Street, E17 was the shop that got my pocket money on a Saturday afternoon, that was if Tottenham Hotspur FC were not playing at home! Pete Stennet would normally look slightly hobbit like behind his counter, most of the time with a colourful woolly hat on…Of course this shop was not just a shop, it was a record label also, with a clutch of artists included such bands as The Cure, Bauhaus, Crass and The Cravats. Patrick Fitzgerald was also on the label, this is the single after ‘Safety Pin Stuck In My Heart’, and is well worth a listen. This artist it may be of interest for you to know was one of the 100’s of people that auditioned for The London SS in 1975, whose members (and auditioned members) were the backbone of the original London based punk scene. Patrick Fitzgerald was also present on some of the Here And Now / ATV free festival  gigs in 1978. 

Pete Stennet at Small Wonder record shop – photo sourced by Sabenji.

  1. presstoeject
    September 6, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    I remember Pete Stennet buying all my old records when I discovered punk. He used to raise an eyebrow at the monstrosities I took in to exchange, but he took them nevertheless. It was a nice long bus ride from Wood Green but one I took every month or so. Apart from Rough Trade there were few other shops I was aware of at the time. Great days.

  2. johnn
    October 9, 2009 at 10:34 am

    anyone know where i can watch dom shaw’s documentary about patrick called ‘all the years of trying’ on the net? it was shown on but is no longer there, tried google but cant seem to find the full film only a trailer.
    heres hoping someone here may know, ta.

  3. Pete
    March 26, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Nice to hear about Small Wonder and the Bauhaus gig at Walthamstow, That was my second gig the first being the Stranglers, Used to go to Small Wonder records every Saturday to spend my paperboy money, Even remember when Pete left and it became Ugly Child, Got to know the owners and had a few all night parties in the shop and upstairs, How did anyone remember Pete Murphy having ginger hair that night, Walthamstow Assembly Hall has some of the finest acoustics in the country, a lot of classical records are recorded there, Also the 60s-70s psychedelic west coast band Arthur Lee and his band love played there and recorded a live track stand out which was released on their False Start LP.. Anyway happy days…If any of you want to hear a good punk band check out cheap and cheerful and the sort of band Pete Stennett would have liked….

  4. steve
    February 28, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Absolutely amazing thread!
    Spent my teens in the goth Pete Murphy / Daniel Ash idolising days, then spend twelve years travelling, to end up living in Walthamstow, to discover that it all started here!
    Bloody Hell! I never knew that.
    Bloody hell! OMG.
    Never thought I’d say this but………………..Viva Walthamstow!

  5. pinkie
    March 9, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    winkie wankie woo! heheh cheers!

  6. Bob
    March 10, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Ha ha – When I was teenager I got into Patrik in a big way, I could only get hold of a couple of his records down in leafy Yeovil so had to send off to Small Wonder / Rough Trade mailorder to get most of them. When this EP arrived in with it was a small handwritten note from Pete which read “You hear the bloke saying “winkie wankie woo”? That’s me that is – Want my autograph, Pete”.

    I know it sounds like nothing now but as a school kid living in the sticks in 1980 I remember being incredibly impressed and kind of touched (touched in the head maybe). Ha.

  7. Paul Whieldon
    Paul Whieldon
    April 15, 2011 at 11:06 am

    The Crass gig i believe would have been at the youth centre on Markhouse Road (St James Street End), now demolished, though the School gates remain in front of the latest red brick monstrosity, also both nearby pubs the Essex Tap (now Flats) and the Coach & Horses (closed and up for sale) Are gone. Joy Division did two gigs there anyone remember anything about that?

    Also the Fall, Hawkwind and Devine played at at the Assembly Rooms. I live local and am not from London I got here 10 years to late, but was of course familiar with Small Wonder through several releases, Crass, Cure, Bauhaus and Punishment Of Luxery. Walthamstow is now long dead it is shit nothing to do and nowhere to go. Apart from cheap fruit and veg on the market the place is useless.

  8. Egg_Dog
    May 29, 2011 at 12:26 am

    Memories of Small Wonder… Took our terrible self-pressed LP and Pete immediately took 150 (we’d only pressed 500). None of the “Sale or Return” malarkey – 150, here is the cash! Not only that but he paid us a couple of pence per copy more than Rough Trade (who to be fair were decent enough as well). Good times. The kids of today (mine included) have it easy in some ways (better recordings than we ever achieved on a home PC, uploaded and available in an instant) but somehow they are missing out on something. Maybe.

  9. gerard
    May 30, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Yeah, bring back National Service. Kids of today eh? ( 😉 )

  10. Kevin Millins
    Kevin Millins
    June 24, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    hey everyone,

    just found this thread and just like colin faver said

    ‘thanks for the love’,

    they were amazing times

    and i really want to know who ‘wankee yankee’ who says he was my flatmate was? – anyone know? one of these days i’ll come back and fill in some gaps about what i’ve been doing

  11. Trevor Howard
    Trevor Howard
    November 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Hi all. Like most, just found this thread.
    I too would dearly love to know what became of Pete Stennet. As I went to school quite close to Small Wonder, would pop in most afternoons, and like a few others, he would roll his eyes at some of my purchases but always steer me towards the quality. Used to buy all Joy Division and Killing Joke stuff from there. I was at one of the Joy Div’ Markhouse Youth Centre gigs. A year later was given a poster from said gig. When New Order played Walthamstow Assembly Hall, i asked a friend, drum tech with New Order, would the remaining three sign it.
    It’s the one in the above link.
    I drive a bus up and down Hoe Street every day now and always glance over to number 162 (now a Polish supermarket)
    Happy times remembered

  12. Les Elston
    Les Elston
    December 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I loved Small Wonder, even though I used to be a bit scared of Pete. My girlfriends brother used to work in there on occasion. I remember going in and the air being thick with the smell of incense. I bought the first Iron Maiden single “Running Free” from Small Wonder.. Walthamstow was great then. You had Allan Gordan Guitars in Markhouse Rd, Small Wonder Records, some really good record and comic stalls down the market and a cinema that didn’t resemble a ruin…

  13. Mitch
    January 4, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Pete Stennet is my cousin. Popped into see him today, he now lives in Suffolk, Mari and he are long divorced. If anyone would like to contact him, let me know as he loves talking about the “old days” and would be happy to contribute to any book or article that is being written about Small Wonder.

  14. Trevor Howard
    Trevor Howard
    January 18, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks Mitch.
    Does he still wear his wooly hat ? !
    Thanks again for the info,

  15. Mitch
    January 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Still wears the hat, only when its cold these days. He spends his time as a self empolyed gardener now, loves Suffolk and being outdoors.

  16. Mitch
    February 3, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Sign up to the Small Wonder Facebook page. Any photos, articles etc can be posted on there. Spread the word !

  17. Guildo
    February 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Always remember asking Patrik F. to sign my copy of Backstreet Boys when he did the tv recording for ‘Revolver’. Pete Stennet was sat next to him laughing.

    BTW- Patrik’s currently doing quite a few gigs & has a new website

  18. Mitch
    February 29, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Trevor, yes thats the one.

  19. Mitch
    February 29, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I’ve also just found out that Patrik is back in the UK and is now living in Camberwell.

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